Posted on July 20, 2015
We are descendants of the creatures that picked the shiny pebbles from the river. We love to touch, experience and be part of a community. I love this example of a shiny pebble. The owner of this small shop has created an icon that is experiential, differentiates and tells a story about what you are likely to encounter in the community that he has created inside.
I spoke with the owner a bit before I asked him if I could photograph his bike and he told me that dozens of people take pictures of it every day during the summer. Many of those people also wander in to experience his shop – to experience him and how he sees his world. So, a story extended to the street is no doubt adding value to the people that walk by and the shopkeeper that is attracting new customers.
Posted on May 26, 2015
All people have art in them. For some it’s music or painting. For others its the written word. And, for some it is the ability to see something in others or inspire. But for sure all of us have art, the ability to create something where previously there was nothing, inside of us. All we have to do is let it out.
Posted on May 19, 2015
“Factory workers” follow process. Factory workers have a schedule. Factory workers are told what to do and when to do it. This sounds a lot like what many of us do every day. The unfortunate part of this is that it takes the innovation, creativity, fun and ultimately, value creation out of our “jobs”. This is not what I want to do. Is this what you want?
It is true that we need rules and process but we also must have innovation, creativity and fun in our jobs. Without this there is no passion and without passion for what we do we can’t be great. We won’t become Our Best.
So, what to do? I encourage all of us to look for the opportunities to try new things, new ideas and new perspectivesin our “jobs”. I meet people every day that are doing extraordinary things – “ordinary” people doing extraordinary work because they choose to be special – to have passion for what they do.
How are you going to be special today?
Posted on May 13, 2015
The Myth of Modern Communication
We think that all of the modern tools that we now use every day make us better communicators or somehow make the human connection more effective but the truth is often the exact opposite.
In the beginning there was email. And, it was good. Suddenly we could efficiently create and send a “letter” or “memo” to someone far away and they could respond in near real time. In the early days we didn’t send email to the person in the next pod or office; that came much later in digital terms – I think it was on the second day.
This was like magic. I naively thought that we were on the boundary of something big…maybe even cosmic. A new age of written communication could be at hand. But, by day three of the email revolution, the world had deteriorated into a place where full sentences, capitalizing words and (God forbid) complete thoughts were forever lost. They were replaced by emoticons and other almost indescribable and certainly grammatically tragic abbreviations masquerading as thought.
Quickly following the emoticon attack was the refinement of email as the key weapon in intra-company pod wars. Now anyone with an email account could launch inane requests to his or her peers. They could use the “to” line to keep hundreds of people “in the loop” on information that the receivers did not need or want. They could launch denial-of-productivity attacks by burying coworkers and staff in messages with endless unneeded attachments, or use the dreaded “cc all” to say “thanks” to hundreds of people efficiently letting the entire company know that they had read and fully understood the mass-mailing from the IT department telling the company that a report would be delayed.
The next time you need to give someone an update or get “alignment” try that old school human trick: talk to them. You might like the result.
Posted on May 7, 2015
RIP Champ June 3, 2016
Posted on January 2, 2015
One of my favorite experiences on Martha’s Vineyard is always a visit to the lighthouses of the island. There is something magical and powerful about a lighthouse and their enduring strength that resists everything that Mother Nature throws at it in order to guide sailors safely home. These are two of my favorites.
The lighthouse at Gay Head is in danger of collapsing into the sea. This image shows the erosion of the Gay Head Cliffs as it approaches the lighthouse. The cost to move the lighthouse is estimated at three million dollars and we only have two or three years to move it until it is unsafe to do the work. This CBS News story is a good overview of the lighthouse and the process to move it.
Posted on October 11, 2014
A recent trip to Beijing resulted in a few hours to walk around the Forbidden City. The smog was almost unbearable – I didn’t recover for weeks after returning to the US. But, I did manage to capture a handful of images that I liked. This one of the fortress wall around the Forbidden City is interesting. I used Photoshop and Lightroom to work with what I had – the smog was amazingly dense and when I looked at the image on my MAC looked like a foggy day so I went with it. The result is here.
I love the image but it makes my heart hurt every time I look at it because I know the truth about what the people in the city are living with. The good news is economic development in China is creating an enormous working-class and eventually middle-class. The bad news is nothing in life is free and this is part of the price.